Kitchen Contraptions

Post 47 - Title Pic


Thanks for visiting the Lady V blog!

This week I review some new and interesting kitchen gadgets I picked up recently.

Check out my latest post and please feel free to comment and stay tuned for more from Lady V Shopping Spree.


  • Lady V

#FlashbackFriday – Review

Post Title Image

A while ago I was invited to review the products and service from online clothing vendor,

As a tribute to the change of seasons (and the need to get a new winter wardrobe) I give you my review of, originally reviewed back on 9 March 2014.

I’ll be paying another visit to this merchant’s website shortly in the hopes of buying some winter pieces for my family.

Please note that as this article was originally posted almost 3 years ago, the prices and range will have varied.

The item I reviewed below is still in my winter wardrobe.

I have worn it quite often over the years and it has held up quite well.

The offending scent mentioned below is well and truly gone and amazingly it still fits!

I would recommend visiting the merchant’s website to see what they have available this season.

Originally posted 9 March 2014

I was recently invited to review a product from overseas e-tailer,

I have heard of this merchant before on various forums relating to online fashion and accessories. invited me to pick out a product from their web based store to review and the item I selected was a Single Breasted PU Leather Jacket which they sell for AUD $19.81.

Leather Jacket Front

Now while this item was given to me I want to assure that the following review is a true and accurate description of my experience, the product and service in question. All opinions are my own.

About the E-tailer:

First of all is a global online fashion e-tail company with their base of operations in Hong Kong.

This e-tailer offers a vast selection of Mens, Womens and Kidswear as well as wedding apparel, lingerie, fashion jewellery/watches, shoes and handbags. They also offer beauty accessories and a range of toys and home décor.

Their product range is vast and the prices are certainly very appealing; some handbags for example start at as little as AUD $5.40 (plus P&H). Be advised that Postage and Handling is calculated based on weight and the total cost of shipping is calculated at checkout.

The style of clothing is modern and youthful; even the blazers and trousers have a hip and trendy edge. Not much perhaps for the office but plenty for day to day and formal occasions.

While the style and range may appeal to almost anybody, those with large or curvaceous figures ought to be advised that the size range appears to be designed for those with a more petite frame.

The XL size which has a bust circumference of approx. 92cm is roughly an AU size 12 and in some cases, some items (like my jacket) only come in one size.

Indeed, many of the models depicted on the website have quite slender frames. That said, if you are on the petite side, you’ll be spoiled for choice at a place like

In terms of postage and delivery, my item was delivered by Fastways Couriers and took just 9 days to reach me from Hong Kong which I think is amazingly fast. offer 3 different methods of shipping from standard to expedited, the cost of which is calculated and selected during checkout.

The jacket itself came folded up and wrapped in plastic.

Leather Jacket Back

The outer fabric is soft, black faux leather which was slightly wrinkled from the journey although after a few days in the closet those seem less noticeable.

There’s a strong vinyl-type scent coming from the fabric which hopefully will also fade with time.

There are two zippered pockets in the front. The zippers are a bit stiff but I imagine they will loosen with wear.

There are 2 snaps across the top collar and 5 down the front. All of which are coated in a type of plastic veneer coating which sadly has begun to chip despite the garment not having been worn yet. This will not be noticed however when the jacket is worn with the front ‘opened up’ as depicted in the website pictures.

There is a long zipper down the front which arrived with some small white residue at the top. A little gentle scrubbing removed this however and from a distance it is not noticeable.

Leather Jacket Close up

The only tag on the inside of the jacket is a small white label marked ‘L’ indicating a large size.

The website does list the jacket’s actual measurements so you can compare them with the site’s Size Guide. The measurements of this jacket indicate that size L is approx. size AU/UK 10. I am an AU size 10 and the jacket fits me perfectly and is not too tight.

The jacket is comfortable to wear, looks great, not too heavy and I’m certain will keep me warm with the approaching winter. Overall I’m very happy with this jacket and it will make a nice addition to my winter wardrobe.

Jacket front view

By the way if you’re wondering why I’m not smiling in the pictures it’s because I kept laughing during the “photo shoot” and I was concentrating so hard to look professional! Clearly, I am NOT a natural. haha

For modern fashion and accessories at a bargain price be sure to check out the range

Happy Shopping!

  • Lady V
As always, shop safely. Please be sure to visit my Caveat Emptor section for further information about safe online shopping. All opinions and experiences are personal. While the item in question was gifted to me, I was not otherwise paid for this review.


What’s Your Shopping Style?


I’m quite a frugal shopper. I always have been since I was young.

I watched my mother clip coupons and shop for discounts throughout my childhood and her habits have become ingrained in my shopping personality.

I’ve been in different positions of financial standing throughout my life but no matter how much or little money I have I can’t help hunting for a bargain.

What often takes some people mere minutes to decide to buy may take me days or weeks.

I love to research a product and shop around for the best price.

I compare details, read reviews and try to find cheaper and more affordable alternatives.

It must be something in the blood?

I have a friend who used to amaze me.

We used to work together and often in her lunch break she would wander around the local stores and mall.

I’d often see her return with shopping bags and was often astounded to note that they often came from distinct luxury brands.

I’m talking about the kinds of brands where even a keyring costs no less than $100.

I knew her well enough to know she wasn’t sitting on piles of cash at home. She was on a modest wage and often complained about having trouble keeping on top of the bills.

One day after she showed me her latest purchase I asked her what compelled her to buy such an expensive luxury item when money was so tight? Her answer was simply “I just wanted it”.

It blew me away.

I’ve always known that people all have a “shopping personality”; an approach to shopping, managing and spending money but I realised later that it is as individual as the person themselves.

I have a relative who is very much afflicted by the “keeping up with the Joneses” persona.

His tendency to spend all of his disposable income along with several lines of credit in order to keep up appearances makes a frugal spender like myself incredibly nervous.

I couldn’t tell you when this type of behaviour first developed but I do recall a fishing trip I took with his family when I was teenager in which we were accompanied by some family friends and their children.

An argument arose between the son of my relative and the son of a friend which was centred around the brand of bicycle each boy had which was better, fancier etc.

The argument rose to a pitch so that the adults decided to intervene and the remark that ended it all came from the son of the friend who said “My bike’s better because it’s more expensive than yours. You can’t afford a bike like mine!”.

(Awkward silence)

Kids, right?

He never said so but I suspect that closing remark affected my relative deeply.

It would only be natural after all. We all want what’s best for our kids.

This declaration of my relative’s apparent inability to offer his family expensive things, while only uttered by a child, was so public and so humiliating I myself have remembered it nearly 2 decades later. (He doesn’t read this blog so I’m in no danger of reminding him).

My relative was always able to afford better experiences than my immediate family so to me he was doing rather well.

Over the following years however I would hear stories from other family members about his extravagant spending, his increasing debt and I would marvel at his social media posts depicting his rather excessive lifestyle.

I have often asked my mother where he found the money for all the expensive overseas trips and luxury brand shopping sprees and she would simply say “credit cards, personal loans and credit charges to his business”.

She also remarked that it made her sad because his children would learn to adopt his spending habits and find themselves in a great deal of financial strife later on in life.

I myself know the feeling of being deeply in debt and barely making ends meet.

My first ever credit card was a disaster.

I remember struggling to breathe from the panic of having overdue credit card bills and collections agents calling in with their incessant reminders.

I recall living on 2 minute noodles and sandwiches for months to try and make headway on the payments only to have a crushing interest charge claw me back into debt.

I don’t know how my relative does it.

It’s not that I’m judging. We all have our own individual ways of approaching money and spending.

Being frugal doesn’t always pay off either.

I’ve often pinched pennies and settled for cheaper items only to be disappointed with what I got.

As the saying goes, ‘you get what you pay for’ and I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes you have to be willing to spend more to achieve the result that you want.

In the bid to save money I decided I would DIY our bathroom wall repair which would have cost us around $240 to have repaired by a tradesman.

Doing this repair myself was found to be a false economy because after buying the tools and materials I had spent close to $300 and 6 months later the job isn’t completely finished.

Clearly the faster and more economical option would have been to part with my $240 in the beginning.

I suppose the aim is to achieve a good balance between being frugal and spendthrift.

It’s easier said than done and for so many it’s a constant struggle to stay on track.

The battle between what the head and the heart wants is a never ending fight.

What is your shopping personality?

Are you a frugal penny pincher or do you like to live large and spend big?

If you’re interested in doing a fun quiz, head over to this post on my other site at to do my What’s Your Shopping Style quiz.

Happy shopping!

  • Lady V
DISCLAIMER: Please note that neither the article or the quiz are an in depth personality assessment (yes, I am actually stating that to be clear). The article is based on personal experience and opinions only. The quiz is just for amusement so please have fun with it.

A Sofa Bed Sleep Solution

White Pine Timber Daybed

Being parents is a challenge especially if your kids are young and like us, your family support network is overseas.

When the kids are sick, life in this household seems to grind to a halt.

With my husband working full time, I take much of the nursing duties upon myself.

I recall one particularly stressful time soon after we moved into our new home.

My family seemed to come down with colds followed by a bad round of gastro shortly after which brought vomiting along with it.

My son in particular had great difficulty during this period.

Being a child with special needs means that he can’t adequately communicate what he’s feeling.

While my older, typically developing daughter could wake me up in the middle of the night to reveal she’d thrown up all over her bed and bathroom, I would often get up in the middle of the night to check on my son and find him covered in vomit. Yuck.

My solution of course was to bring him to bed with me but after a couple of sleepless nights and no clean sheets left, we found ourselves sleeping on the couch.

Our couch isn’t the most comfortable to sleep on so my husband and I decided it was time to invest in something comfortable and practical for the living room at times where one of us is left sleeping on the couch with one of our kids for whatever reason.

It’s not hard to imagine that there are several different options for such a purpose.

The range of different sofa beds and futon beds is endless both online and instore.

We had tried the leather futon option before but were left disappointed when we found that it was very uncomfortable to sit or sleep on for long periods.


PU leather futon sofa bed

Another option is a fold out sofa bed.

This is generally more expensive than a futon bed but the issue for us wasn’t so much the cost as the style.

The new contemporary style of furniture we often come across isn’t really to our taste.

We’ve always wanted to have a house with plenty of character and rustic charm. Our style is a blend of traditional and rustic.

As usual I looked to Pinterest for reference and came across a picture of a timber day bed and was immediately inspired.

The concept of a daybed is a piece of furniture which functions as a sofa by day with a seat long and deep enough to sleep on at night.

There are several options out there that come in several different materials and styles but these things aren’t cheap. Daybeds seem to cost anywhere from AU$200+ here in Australia depending on the style.

After much research and internet sleuthing I was able to locate a daybed which fit within our style and budget.

The answer is this wooden timber daybed and trundle which we picked up from Crazy Sales online department store for which at the time of purchase (May 2016) was around $230 plus approx. $49.95 shipping to Sydney metro.*

White pine timber futon and trundle with mattresses

White pine timber futon and trundle frame with mattresses

This is fantastic value for what is essentially 2 x timber single bed frames.

This particular style of daybed and trundle package has also been made available on other sites including Real Smart and My Deal at varying prices.

It comes in a classic white and is made from solid pine and plywood.

White pine timber daybed side view

White pine timber daybed and mattress side view


Daybed back rest

White pine timber daybed – back rest


White timber daybed base slats

White pine timber daybed – base slats

The trundle can be raised off the ground on fold out legs. Speaking of which, the fold out legs are attached to the trundle with bolts that are provided with the frame. The problem is that while they are the correct length according to the instructions, the bolts provided are actually too short.

The hardware provided allows for 4 x 40mm long bolts to attach the fold out legs to the trundle when you actually need 60 – 80mm long bolts to slot through the thickness of the legs and secure them properly into the trundle base.

White pine trundle legs and wheels

Trundle legs and wheels

Luckily we had some longer bolts spare from another project and was able to attach the legs without too much hassle.

I have found that the trundle does sit slightly lower than the daybed when it’s raised so while the internet listings indicate that the two can be put together to form one large king bed, they actually function better as two separate singles.

Overall, the assembly is at least a two-person job and it took my husband and I a couple of hours to work out the instructions and put the whole thing together with our kids climbing on top of us.

This is one of the most affordable timber daybed options I could find and it fits in with a classic, country interior theme.

The daybed and trundle bases fit full single size mattresses. We chose to purchase 2 x foam mattresses from Fantastic Furniture for $49 each.*

This is how it looked after all the assembly.

Daybed assembled

Assembly complete

Finding blankets and bed dressings wasn’t all that difficult. We used fitted sheets, duvets and blankets picked up from Kmart.

Finding cushions was perhaps the most difficult part because the seat back is higher than an average cushion so finding affordable cushions big and plush enough to be supportive wasn’t easy.

My solution was to buy square European pillow cases from Kmart and stuff them each with 2 x European pillow inserts. The same was done for the long pillow that lies across the front of them.

This is just a long body pillow case with 2 x long body pillow inserts.

Having two inserts in each case fills them out and makes them more plush and supportive.

The rest of the smaller cushions were picked up from Masters on sale at 5 for $10. Bargain!*

So far this piece has been a real lifesaver.

We use it for during those unfortunate nights when our kids are sick and it will work out great for guests who sleep over.

And if one of us should end up “in the doghouse” and sleeping on the couch, he could hardly complain about having to sleep on this could he? *wink*

  • Lady V xoxo
*Prices are correct at the time of purchase and are subject to change without notice and may not be available in all areas. Delivery times may vary depending on your location.

Teeny Tiny Master Suite

Master Bedroom Entrance

Since my husband and I bought our first house I’ve been obsessed with watching home building and reno shows on tv. Not the game show competition-type ones but the shows where families go about finding and creating their own family dream home.

I also love the ones where families who have suffered unimaginable hardship for whatever reason and find themselves living in derelict circumstances are rescued by the help of very generous qualified builders and tradespeople to transform their houses into functional and beautiful family homes.

There’s nothing more heart-warming than watching a community rallying together to help a family in need as is the case with DIY:SOS The Big Build and Holmes Makes It Right.

However, my all-time favourite home reno show is Fixer Upper hosted by Texas couple Chip and Joanna Gaines. The country style definitely speaks to me and I’m always blown away by the transformation of their property projects.

The thing I notice with American and Canadian home shows in particular is they have this concept known as a “master suite”.

The idea is that the master bedroom is a grown up sanctuary and features not only a queen or king sized bed but also a walk-in wardrobe, master bathroom and a sitting area to relax in.

This isn’t necessarily a concept exclusive to those parts of the world but it’s not something I have come across very often here.

I’ve haven’t lived in a house that has ever had enough space for what could be described as a “master suite” with a seating/lounging area in the master bedroom to relax in.

I do love the idea though and wanted to somehow incorporate a master suite concept into my own home.

Our master bedroom is 3.5 x 3.75m with a built in wardrobe on one of the shorter sides with a depth of about 620mm.

Given the small footprint of my master bedroom and the layout of my house, there’s no way I could achieve a true master bed/walk in robe/master bathroom combination without knocking down walls, building extensions and installing new plumbing. Absolutely out of the question on a modest budget and with no time or patience for major renovations.

Instead I’ve chosen to incorporate some elements that make our master bedroom feel more like a grown up space and sanctuary for me and my husband to retire to.

In truth, it’s more a space for me seeing as how every other part of the house seems to have been overrun by children including the kitchen and bathroom. Even my husband has his separate office/media room/man cave.

I’ve chosen to make the space calming and romantic with very muted tones. There is still heaps of room for improvement. I further envision drapes, wall mirror and repainting of walls. Shelving will also help with storage.

Our queen sized bed takes up most of the space so in order to gain some extra storage we got rid of our queen mattress and base ensemble and replaced it with a queen timber bed frame from

It’s a solid pine timber queen bed frame in white and it follows the romantic country theme I had been going for. It was a bargain at just over $214 plus about $32 for delivery to Sydney metro*.

The frame allows for around 32cm of height underneath the bed which is great for storage tubs which we picked up from Kmart for about $8.00 each.


White pine bed frame head detail

White pine bed frame head detail

White pine bed frame end detail

White pine bed frame end detail


We replaced our tired old mattress with a new Luxo Selene Pocket Spring and Latex mattress from This too was a steal at $289.95 plus $20.50 for same-day delivery to Sydney metro*.

There are so many different mattresses to choose from at and same day shipping to selected areas is a plus. To be honest the mattresses seem to have very similar specifications. I chose this one in particular for its depth. It’s a 30cm thick medium-firm mattress which we got to help with our neck and back pains.

The thing we realised though was that due to the extra height of the bed frame and the mattress, the bed sits quite high in the room and it took some getting used to climbing in and out of bed.

Our 4 year old son struggles to climb up which I suppose is good seeing as he loves to jump on it and mess up my made up bed and sheets.

The mattress itself is very comfortable and it certainly has helped my husband and I with our neck and back pain but the latex layer on the top doesn’t hold the heat very well and while this will be great in summer, in the winter it makes the bed very cold.

I would recommend using a thick underlay to help contain your body heat and keep the bed warm on cold nights.

I picked up the quilt cover and pillowcases from Kmart for about $22 for a queen set. The pale beige and damask print ties in with the existing wall colour and adds to the romantic feel.

Damask Quilt Cover and Cushions

At the end of our new bed we had approximately 950mm of unused space which is where I decided to place our “seating area”.

To follow along with the plush, romantic theme I chose 2 French provincial style Lorraine chairs from

Lorraine Chairs

Lorraine Chairs in amber taupe

You would think with the amount of money I spend shopping at that I would have shares in the business, huh? Lol. No, but they do have some great stuff at really good prices.

Two of these lovely chairs sit at the end of our bed with a white faux lambskin rug and cane basket full of magazines and newspapers in between them.

Master Suite Seating Area

The chairs sit quite low; the seat sits just 38cm off the ground but that’s fine if you like to sit back and stretch your legs out and if like my husband, you just need a place to sit to put your shoes on in the morning.

They were very easy to put together and at the time cost $154.36 each plus about $8.00 shipping to Sydney metro*.

It’s a space where I can retreat to if I need a moment away from the kids. I can read my magazines, listen to my iPod and collect my thoughts. It’s also where I come up with a lot of drafts for my blog posts.

It’s exactly what I envisioned a “master suite” to be for. I do intend to add some further touches down the line. I would love to find a unique piece of artwork to hang above the bed, add pops of colour to the room and come up with more creative ways to add storage.

I the meantime this teeny, tiny master suite is a pretty sweet space.

  • Lady V
*Prices are correct at the time of purchase and are subject to change without notice. Delivery times may vary depending on your location.